PRESS RELEASE: Lawyers for Human Rights Celebrates 40 Years of Making Rights Real

This year marks 40 years of Lawyers for Human Rights providing free legal services to marginalised individuals & communities in South Africa in order to help deepen democracy and facilitate access to justice for all.

This Human Rights Day, help celebrate our history and ensure the future of LHR by donating to support our work.

Despite South Africa’s renowned and progressive Constitution, South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. Against this injustice, many still face financial challenges in accessing legal representation in order to protect their basic rights. As a consequence, human rights are not a reality to be enjoyed by the majority of people living in South Africa today.  Although our country has ratified many international human rights treaties, their implementation remains a challenge, and there are very few available mechanisms to enforce them. Internationally, the world in a state of human rights backlash. “Othering” in the form of xenophobia fuels hatred, violence, and discrimination. Communities must be empowered to ensure they can hold governments to account and stand up for their rights.

LHR has always been at the forefront of the struggle for basic human rights and respect for human dignity. During the dark days of apartheid, LHR worked with communities to provide legal recourse against forced removals and unlawful evictions. The organisation today exists to address modern day human rights challenges, in our work on behalf of 15 000 clients each year through our legal clinics, our Constitutional Court challenges in respect of fundamental rights, our advocacy on behalf of vulnerable workers, refugees, migrants, the urban poor, rural mining communities, and children, and in our extensive community outreach initiatives across the country in order to increase rights awareness.  We fight for social justice, and work with communities waging battles in struggles for access to the basic human rights enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

This Human Rights Day, we call on political leaders to recommit themselves to the vision and ethos of the Constitution of South Africa, particularly in respect of the most vulnerable in our society. The Constitution is our strongest tool in our fight for transformation and to ensure redress for the injustices of the past.

LHR will keep bridging the gap between the promise and reality. Help us continue the work for another 40 years. Donate here:


For more information please contact:

Michael Clements at 011 339 1960 or michael [at] lhr [dot] org [dot] za